Election 2020: Sean Ó Fearghaíl (Fianna Fáil)

Kildare South (Automatically returned)

Seán Ó Fearghaíl. Photograph: James Forde/The Irish Times

Seán Ó Fearghaíl. Photograph: James Forde/The Irish Times


Sean Ó Fearghaíl (59), as outgoing Ceann Comhairle, was automatically retuned to the 33rd Dáil.

He was first elected as a member of Kildare County Council in 1985 and first stood for election to Dáil Éireann in the Kildare constituency at the 1987 general election, but was unsuccessful. He was unsuccessful again at the 1989 general election, and again in 1992 and 1997.

From a farming background, in 1997 he decide to have a tilt at the Seanad as a candidate for the Agricultural Panel, but lost again.

Showing indefatigable spirit he went again for the Seanad in the by-election held in June 2000, after the death of Senator Patrick McGowan and this time won.

Ó Fearghaíl won a Dáil seat on his fifth attempt, at the 2002 general election, when he defeated the sitting Fine Gael TD Alan Dukes.

At the 2007 general election he topped the poll and was elected on the first count. He was re-elected at the 2011 general election and at the 2016 general election.